One of my favorite summer morning activities is rising bright and early to watch my garden thrive beyond its bordered fence. The squash leaves strut with glory and keep growing ,as bees dance from blossom to blossom. While the busy humming bees travel busily, the majestic gold sun warms my skin. As a young child I feared their presence, now I carry a stark opposite reaction. The gardener in me thanks God for bees and how they help my plants. Sometimes I crouch weeding or tending to a plant while a morning fog encloses me and I feel like I’m immersed in a cloud. It’s just me and the bees in this small patch.
Yesterday afternoon it was much too hot and steamy to be in the garden but there I was in capris and a tank top, tolerating it so I could pick. With a big mixing bowl and little herb snipping scissors I began in the squashes. Six strong summer squashes take most of the space as butternut squash vines intertwine among them. Mmmmm…bright yellow veggies are ready to pick and entice my appetite for dinner later. I noticed some have a bumpy skin with a curled shape, must be a crookneck variety. Others have smooth flesh with stems just ready to snip.
Every year when the garden starts its grand performance, it’s time to plan dishes to use all these fresh veggies. One great resource that I use that never fails is Pinterest. If you haven’t experienced this site before, I highly recommend it. At first it’s overwhelming and as you scan through the pages, pictures are everywhere of all different things. It’s a nightmare for ADD tendencies, but if you stick with it and learn it, it’s a valuable search engine for garden veggies dishes. In this case I would type in summer squash recipes and hundreds would pop up.
One of our favorite summer squash dishes is frying it. Simply slice the squash in rounds. Dredge with flour, dip in beaten egg, and then panko bread crumbs. I use plain or Italian, both are really tasty! Heat canola oil in frypan and place squash rounds in. Fry for a few minutes on each side so that they are golden brown. Once fried, place on plate with paper towels to soak up extra grease. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and fresh Basil from the garden. This is a great side dish with anything, fish, chicken, even seafood.
Another delicious idea to use that summer squash surplus is a casserole. Slice squash in rounds. ( You can use just summer or mix it up with zucchini or even both with fresh tomatoes for a unique taste) sliced Vidalia sweet onion and layer with the squash. Make a cheese sauce and pour over. Top with crushed ritz crackers and a dot with a few tabs of butter.
My husband loves it when I stuff summer squash or zucchini. There are many different ways to do this. One way is to hollow out the squash and set aside. Prepare stuffing and add cooked crumbled sausage. Fill the squash boat, top with cherry tomatoes and sprinkle cheddar cheese atop. Bake 350 F for about 20 minutes or so.
With all my extra squash I’ve decided to start a new project, Pay it forward Veggies. It involves a small rickety table placed in our front yard, adorned with deep yellow squash and a simple cardboard sign saying, Free squash! Please pay it forward! Every time I pick I’ll choose a few for the table and help others complete their meals and maybe spread a little kindness in doing so.
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️